1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: French
  4. >
  5. "I want to sleep for ten days…

"I want to sleep for ten days."

Translation:Je veux dormir pendant dix jours.

January 5, 2013



Why can't I use "pour"?


Because "for" has several meanings, one of them being "pendant"

  • 278

from an online dictionary: Note: Lorsque "for" se réfère à une période future, on le traduit par "pour".


Because it has several meanings it may not be used at all? I don't understand.


"Pour" has several meanings

  • je veux dormir pour être en forme demain = I want to sleep (in order) to feel fit tomorrow (purpose/intention)
  • je pars pour Bordeaux = I am leaving for Bordeaux (destination)
  • j'ai travaillé pour cette firme = I have worked for that firm (recipient)

"For" does not always translate to "pour", when it comes to durations (vs intentions, destinations, recipients), depending on the tense used (often different in French vs English):

  • I have been working for 10 years in this firm = je travaille depuis 10 ans dans cette firme
  • I worked for/during 10 years in this firm = j'ai travaillé (pendant/durant) 10 ans dans cette firme
  • I am going to work for/during 10 years in this firm = je vais travailler (pendant/durant) 10 ans dans cette firme

Therefore, with the sentence used here:

  • I want to sleep for/during (the next) 10 days = je veux dormir (pendant/durant) les 10 prochains jours.


I was told by my French teacher, that using pour in this situation would be understood, however, it is just bad french and more of an anglicism.


so, when do i use "J'ai envie" vs. "je veux"?


More probably when the English is something like "I feel like...". The aim of the game is rather to use the most literal translation with "I want" = "je veux".


why put the 'four' in the English, makes no sense.

Learn French in just 5 minutes a day. For free.